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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow  CNN  April 19, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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hat were lost that day, and concentrate on the good things that the survivors have done including my foundation. >> and for you, mery? >> for me the boston marathon is more, although now we have the survivors and there's focus about the survivors because there are so many great organizations that raise money for cancer heart disease and so many different areas of medicine that usually come together. for them it's a day to really spend that time and effort to really raise the money and also support so many different areas of medicine. i think this should bring the focus back. i'm not saying that the survivors and the victims are not important, but i think it's a day where the city actually bring all these organizations in the communities back together. >> guys thank you so much. you're an inspiration to all of i. it's been my pleasure to get to know you and i look forward to seeing all you do ahead. thanks heather, thanks mery. >> thank you, poppy.
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>> thank you, poppy. >> see you later. -- captions by vitac -- 6:00 eastern. you're in the cnn newsroom. i'm poppy harlow with you. we begin with this shocking story. the fbi made a startling admission, it is about crime scene evidence and how some of it was used to send people to prison and to death row for more than 20 years in a report published this weekend in the "washington post," the justice department admits that almost every fbi hair expert that took the stand in a courtroom over a long period of time maybe gave the wrong information. flawed forensic testimony that helped prosecutors, and some those trials ended with the death penalty. take a look at this. this is a quote from the "washington post." it reads, "fbi experts systemically testified to the near certainty of matches of
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crime scene hairs to defendants backing their claims by citing incomplete or misleading statistics drawn from their casework. in reality, there is no accepted research on how often hair from different people may appear the same." jonathan gilli a,am former fbi special agent. also joining me in los angeles, criminal defense attorney brian, and tom fuentes, former fbi assist cant directorant director. tom, let me get your reaction. you know the laboratories that do this research well. does this surprise you that they were banking on hair fiber evidence that it seems like large part of the time wasn't exactly a perfect match? >> no poppy, it does surprise me but, you know what happened is that this was -- this was determined that examinations from 1999 and before 1999 where
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hair examiners testified. they testified through microscopic analysis that matches where more certain, you know when they made these matches. starting in 2000 they had mitochondrial dna to do the examination to supplement microscopics so they no longer had to rely on it. this was a problem from 1999 and earlier and shortly after it was discovered the fbi teamed up with the innocence project to correct this to notify every prosecutor in every case that this had come up that some cases that were reported as matches were exaggerated basically. it was determined that no examiner deliberately gave false testimony or deliberately lied on their examination. that's what was believed at that time until later mitochondrial dna analysis showed that the microscopic analysis was insufficient and in some case in error. so they've been correcting this probable for a long time.
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the story recently coming out is basically an update report from the innocence project on where they stand on the efforts to clean up this whole situation. >> jonathan you were with the fbi. i mean you know this happened before your time but looking at this what is your take on the current guidelines? what are the can current guidelines? how have things changed so this doesn't happen again? >> well i think whatever the current guidelines are they're fixing to change most likely and it's interesting that you ask that question because that's the one thing i honed in on -- >> right. >> -- in this report is that there was no written standards. as mr. fuentes can tell you, that to me is puzzling that there were no written standards exactly on how that you know, you should be responding to this. that is really the thing that sets the bureau apart from everything else is that we like to standardize things and that is amazing that that was not the case. >> brian, you've said that most people don't realize that most scientific testing or forensics
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is subject to human bias. you're right. we don't. we think of dna evidence. we think of a lot of this evidence as absolute and foolproof. when you look at some of these individuals who are now being notified their case may be reassessed you know who do you think this is going to lead to? overturning some of these convictions? do you think they're going to get another fair shot? >> well poppy, this is a colossal disaster. this is not a pothole in a street. this is a sinkhole. this is a systemic failure. you can't come and put some gravel and cover this up. this is a real problem because you have other issues such as preservation of evidence. think about that. what if somebody was convicted 20 30 years ago and now they want to try to get out and maybe the hair fiber's gone? maybe it's been compromised. i think another issue you've got to look at too, here, poppy, is this failure of the fbi to have the hair fiber specialists testify based on accurate science was confined really to
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one hair fiber unit and 26 out of those 28 hair analysts were at one of these units. that leads to another issue that i think needs to be looked at here. was there -- was there some kind of marching order going on here to have these hair fibers specialists testify to favor the prosecution? because remember none of this evidence that they testified to favored a defendant. >> right. >> it never exculpated a defendant. i think there's something hidden here that needs to be looked at. >> let me ask tom fuentes that, as a former fbi assistant director was there -- did you witness ever collusion between, you know the department and prosecutors? >> i never did, but i was not, you know in the laboratory and, you know seeing that but in this situation when they're examining -- when they receive hairs, you know two samples to compare and say whether it's from the same person what was happening is that they were identifying matches that it may have come from two different people. now, hairs can eliminate, so not
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every case was the person identified as a match and some of the cases they were immediately said it was not a match. but in cases where they did say it was a match, it may not still have always been true. it may have looked very close under a microscope but later, the dna analysis proved that it was not really a true match. >> jonathan how encouraged are you that the fbi -- let me just read you the statement, part of what we got from the fbi. it's a long statement. aisle going to read two important parts. they said "the department and fbi are committed to ensuring that the defendants are notified of past errors and the justice is done in every instance." they went on to say "the department own fbi devoted considerable resources to this effort and will continue to do so until all of these cases are addressed." to you, jonathan gilliam, do you believe we're going to see ultimately justice done here? >> i think so. you know despite what a lot of people may think, the bureau is really out to affirm your
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constitutional rights and we're there to protect and to serve just like law enforcement on the street. and i think this is a good example, an incredible way that the director came out and made this admission. it shows that they're pushing forward to make the right changes, and, but, you know this is why its important to have a well-rounded case. you cannot just rely on one piece of evidence. and nothing beats good old-fashioned groundwork when it comes to an investigation. >> that's true. brian claypool final thought to you, sir. >> well i respectfully disagree. i don't think just fixing and finding justice for people that have been wrong is the solution here. you have to look back and figure out how 20 years of using the wrong methodology happened and how is it that these analysts went up -- >> that's not what i said. >> -- there and told the truth? >> that's not what i said. >> you have to do intwo things. investigate what we did wrong for 20 years, not just seek jus first the people who are wrong. as far as patrick leahy, one of the u.s. senators does have
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legislation pending, and obama supports it, to set up a forensic unit in the u.s. department of justice to create standards for forensic testing. because right now, we don't have reliable standards. >> jonathan that a good idea? >> i think that's part of the thing, but i think the bureau have to come up with the right standards and the bureau is doing what they need to do in order to come up with those things. and i think that you can't just say that the bureau has a bad reputation because we do not. the bureau has a great reparation. and they're going to go forward and fix this but, you know science is like this and also when you teach people to go in and how to present themselves in court, if you don't set the standards out beforehand then these things can happen. i think that's the greatest thing that can be done here is the bureau goes out and fixes these standards. >> john than gilliam, tom fuentes, brian claypool. gentlemen, thank you very much. appreciate it. 20 years ago today 168 people including 19 children lost their lives in the oklahoma
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city bombing. [ taps ] the anniversary marked by a ceremony at the memorial on the site where that truck bomb blew up outside the murrah federal building. to this day it's the deadliest homegrown terror attack in u.s. history and i beg this question could something like oklahoma city happen again? our victor blackwell was granted rare access to the atf's center for explosives training and research. it's in huntsville alabama, and he filed this report. >> reporter: at this thousand-acre center federal agents police and military are learning how to prevent future bombings and to more efficiently investigate attacks. we can't show you their faces due to the sensitivity of their work but the atf program starts with in-depth explosives training which has expanded exponentially since the oklahoma city bombing. >> 1995 the certified explosive
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special consisted of a two-week school to certify the agents. >> reporter: now their training is stretched over two years including graduate-level engineering courses. >> the agents have a better understanding now of kind of the scientific principles behind the post blast, or behind the blast. >> reporter: and scientific testing has accelerated. agents who collected evidence at the murrah building in 1995 -- [ explosion ] or at sincentennial olympic park in 1996 had to ship items off to i.d. today, agents use devices at the scene. as atf agent shelley demonstrates. >> that's telling us that was sugar. >> that's essentially 20 seconds. roughly 20 seconds. in a sample collected at the murrah building how long would that have taken? >> hour maybe a day to get the
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analytical results back. >> reporter: precious time that could mean the difference between losing a suspect and catching one. gone are days of simple scene mapping, developing and printing photos of scenes. >> with this new technology i mean we are looking at light years beyond what we had just ten years ago. >> reporter: starting with this spherical camera purchased just months ago. >> these images are high-definition. it's 100 megapixel camera which allows us to get a 360-degree view. >> reporter: agents can embed lab test results video, audio investigative reports, allowing prosecutors to lead a potential jury on a comprehensive virtual walk-through a scene, in the case of a trial, and there's a huge logistical benefit, too. how much space is this saving? >> tremendous amount of space. from what used to be several binders, several feet of binders, we reduce this down to one cd or one thumb drive. >> reporter: the center's newest division research and development, looks ahead to the
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next potential blast. building and detonating bombs like testing recipes in a cookbook. >> we won't out andent out and looked at what was available on the internet and being published by organizations that want to do nefarious things in the u.s. >> reporter: like "inspire" magazine? >> correct, like "inspire" magazine. >> reporter: that's the glossy al qaeda publication in which the tsarnaev brothers found instructions to build pressure cooker bombs, detonated during the 2013 boston marathon. >> allows us to look at one and go that one is a real problem. and then we can start looking at supply chain stuff. we can start looking at investigative leads that when an event occurs like where would they have gotten materials, where would have they gotten supplies? and helps the investigateors follow-up. >> reporter: the greatest advancement of the last 20 years, the cell phone. think back to 1995. a cell phone looked more like a cordless home phone with a green screen and antenna, really basic. now agents can take photos and
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shoot video and e-mail them back to a command post or lab for immediate analysis. they also use apps to identify components there at the scene and there are new phone-based resources currently in development. poppy? >> wow, fascinating look at. thanks so much victor. appreciate it. coming up next 20 years after that oklahoma city bombing we examine the new homegrown terrorists. what motivates them. and what's the threat of someone striking again? we'll talk about it next. people ship all kinds of things. but what if that thing is a few hundred thousand doses of flu vaccine. that need to be kept at 41 degrees. while being shipped to a country where it's 90 degrees. in the shade. sound hard? yeah. does that mean people in laos shouldn't get their vaccine? we didn't think so. from figuring it out to getting it done, we're here to help.
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alert your doctor of new or worsening problems including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems- these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. serious allergic reactions can occur. tell your doctor if you or anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. in a medical study most stelara® patients saw at least 75% clearer skin... ...and the majority were rated as cleared or minimal at 12 weeks. stelara® helps keep my skin clearer. ask your doctor about stelara®. 20 years ago today americans were introduced to homegrown terrorism in a major way on u.s. soil when 168 americans died in the oklahoma city bombing. law enforcement officers were really forced to play catch-up trying to figure out how something like this could happen in the heartland of america from an american. let's talk about this issue of homegrown terrorism. let me bring back in jonathan gilliam, former fbi special agent, also former police officer, former navy s.e.a.l. thank you for being with us.
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i appreciate. >> you got it. >> when we look at today marking 20 years since oklahoma city what do you think changed in the way law enforcement in this country tries to prevent thickngs like this? >> the number one thing -- there's two things. one, they started looking at to domestic threats in a much greater way under a much more powerful microscope just really trying to concentrate on what groups could pose a problem in the future. >> it's not even just groups when you look at timothy mcveigh. >> individuals. he did subscribe to certain groups and had talked to certain groups. i think just the way they track people and the potential of what types of mindsets could do that. think that changed a lot. then also tracking the material that they used. that material is just a basic material that farmers use and to fertilize things and so the way they look at that now is much more stringent than they did before. >> do you believe that now there
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are more potential homegrown terrorists or we just know about them more because they voice their opinions on social media? when you go back to '95, you didn't have twitter and didn't have facebook. >> right. great point. are there more? i would say there probably is more because of social media. if you don't like something and i don't like something back in that day and age, we may never know each other. but if two people now can communicate their ideas, you know how to have a group of people togethers and that's the way things grow. >> they can feel validated. >> they can feel validated. any law enforcement officer who's worked in a town can tell you you can take two people who have the same issue, same addiction who have never been to a town put them on either side of the town and will find each other within a week or two. same thing with this. >> when you look at september 11th and look at where the conversation went from there, right, this focused so much attention on osama bin laden and terrorists overseas. do you think that that took a bit of attention away from
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terrorism here at home? because we heard the head of homeland security saying recently what keeps him up at night is the lone wolf and homegrown terrorism. >> right. he's -- i just -- i'll tell you this. no it didn't because there are always squads that are going to look at domestic terror or homegrown terror. and in this case you have to -- we did differentiate and probably do still differentiate, people who have an ideology, born here and hate america, versus people of a certain ideology fundamental islam, sending their operatives over hre inspiring people. those are two different ideologies. you have to investigate them from two different angles. >> who's easier to turn? i mean, turn in a positive way to our side. right? who's easier to bring back around that corner before they carry out an attack? someone here who feels disinfranchised or a potential terrorist overseas? >> i think it depends on their ideologies.
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a lot of people who are threats here are people angry at the course the united states is going, and i would say that when if you gave them an opportunity to speak, it's more likely that you're going to get the truth from then versus somebody who wants to come over and destroy us for whatever reason. >> for everything we stand for. >> that we stand for. exactly. >> that this country stands for. >> poppy, let me say this to the people watching. when i was in the s.e.a.l.s team we go through explosive training. i made the same type of bomb when we were going through training with 50 pounds of explosive. i threw the tur ret off a tank. that's how powerful that was. people the thingabsolutely true. no matter what technology they put out there, a bad guy can always think their way around technologies. people and their eyeballs are their greatest assets that we have. >> absolutely. see something, say something. >> see it, say it. >> works all the time here especially in new york city. thank you, jonathan thanks for
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your service and when with us. >> thank you. also this important story that doesn't always get the headlines it deserves. we want to bring your attention to it again because it's now been one year since nearly 300 schoolgirls in nigeria wereky kidnapped by boko haram. there's still no sign of them. one cnn reporter great friend, has dedicated herself to covering this story and has called on all of us to take action. you can call me shallow... but, i have a wandering eye. i mean, come on.
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it has now been a year since more than 200 nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by boko haram terrorists. they still have not been rescued. cnn digital producer stephanie, who is from nigeria has been covering this story from day one. >> what i remember a raw feeling when i heard the schoolgirls were missing was shock because a school is supposed to be a safe haven and eye don't really expect that schoolgirls waiting to sit an exam will be kidnapped and almost a year later still not found. ♪ nigeria started to get girls to organize protests and at this protest, someone made a speech crying out, "bring back our girls." and it was at that moment that that key hash tag was born. everybody started tweeting it
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because i think everyone felt a collective sense of outrage about girls going missing and nothing being done about it. i went to boarding school in nigeria when i was younger, and this could easily have happened to me when i lived there, so i was keen to go down and really talk to people on the ground. one thing that really surprised me was the kind of political spin that was being put on this story. a lot of people who were close to the government to the jonathan administration were really spinning this line of it being a political stunt. they were actually being very disparaging to us perceived western journalists they ss saying we were being fooled by the government in the north who were trying to use this kidnapping as a political kind of football to kick the jonathan administration. and i was quite puzzled by this. i heard this many times from key people in government from people on the street. nobody seemed to believe it and i was really shocked.
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when we started to interview parents who were heartbroken, quite rightly, there was no safety for them. they were running into the bushes at night terrified that boko haram would come back and attack. we reported these things. as reports trickled out, people started to question the beliefs that they held about it being a political stunt 3 i. i think it's important to continue to cover this story because these girls are not only victims of boko haram. since they were kidnapped, thousands of nigerians have died thousands of nigerians have been taken. it's largely seen in nigeria as a northern problem, but it could very well escalate into other parts. it's a world issue. we need to contain it, we need to combat it fiercely and quickly. >> also go to and read this. our anchor and correspondent aisha sesay has been covering
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this from the beginning and wrote an on sed on cnn saying we should all be ashamed these girls have not been found, not been returned. also switching gears, marijuana and money. why banks don't want cannabis cash, not even from legitimate legal companies. how do those marijuana moguls do business without big banks? we'll talk about that next. then you'll know how uncomfortable it can be. but did you know that the lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath? well, there is biotene specially formulated with moisturizers and lubricants... biotene can provide soothing relief and it helps keep your mouth healthy too. biotene, for people who suffer from a dry mouth. the new s6 hits the stores and i'm like... whoa. open the box and... (sniffing) new phone smell. jump on a video chat with my friend. he's a real fan boy, so i can't wait to show this off.
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our dr. sanjay gupta is back with his three-year investigation into medical mare marijuana marijuana. "weed 3 the documentary" is looking at a marijuana revolution. despite years of reporting on this issue, even he was surprised by some elected officials, some lawmakers who are now leading the charge to change what we know and what we think about medical marijuana. >> this bill that we are introducing seeks to writeright decades of wrong and end unnecessary marijuana laws. >> reporter: march 2015.
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democrats cory booker and kirsten gillibrand along with republican rand paul have just proposed the most audacious marijuana legislation in our lifetime. if it passes it would create a fundamental change in the way the united states views and treats marijuana. >> our drug laws in this country as a whole need a revolution of common sense and compassion. >> reporter: for starters, it would do something scientists have been begging for. reschedule cannabis from schedule 1 to a much less restricted schedule 2 substance. >> once you make the class of drugs schedule 2, you can research it and find out what are the medical impacts, when can you use it when does it make sense? that was necessary here so simple. >> reporter: the bill would also mandate more farms to grow research-grade marijuana and allow greater access to it for those in need including veterans who would for the first time be able to get a prescription more medicinal marijuana from the
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v.a. hospitals. >> let's stop the pot hypocrisy. we've now had three presidents that have admitted to smoking marijuana. people in public office all throughout the senate have said i've smoked marijuana recreationally. how much of a hypocrite do you have to be to say i broke american laws uses pot as a recreational thing and i'm not going to support this idea that as a medicine for severely sick people that they shouldn't be able to access this drug? >> so sanjay it's hard to get lawmakers from democrats and republicans in washington to agree on something. this is a bipartisan effort to make a difference. you have said this is one of the most audacious pieces of marijuana legislation. why? >> well you know first of all, you're absolutely right. i mean i always thought with regard to this particular issue, politicians were just going to play it safe and stay away because you're not going to win an election on this issue likely but you could lose an election on this issue. and i think --
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>> right. >> -- that's part of what we saw with the political system. i think what's so audacious about this is that you know in 50 years, we haven't seen something as sweeping as what they're proposing now. they want to reschedule marijuana from a schedule 1 substance which is the highest schedule so it's the highest likelihood of abuse, no medical benefits, to making it a schedule 2 substance, saying it has accepted medicinal uses. that's a big deal. it's a big deal for patients but it's also a big deal for scientists. they're finally going to be able to get their hands on the marijuana to do these studies. they also want to make it available to veterans v.a. hospitals, so doctors at v.a. hospitals could prescribe this as a medication. again, like they would any other medication. they want to free up dollars for funding research. it's very broadly sweeping and, look, i challenge them poppy. i said look we've heard this all before. there have been people who have been saying this long before you and me why is this going to be different? i'll never forget senator booker sort of walked out of the room and very confidently said to me
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at the time, said, we are going to get this done. they're very very bullish on this sort of legislation. >> is this sanjay because the poll numbers are backing that? because the polls have changed incredibly in just the past few years. >> i think -- i think some of it is the polling probably. i mean you know certainly politicians can be guilty of following polling numbers, but, you know if you look at the polling numbers overall, so now for the first time in 40 years you do have a majority of people who support marijuana legalization across the board. i was focused on the sort of second number here which is 77% would be in favor of legalizing it for medicinal purposes. you know more than three quarters of the kuncountry. to give you a little context, poppy, in 1969 the first time this question was asked only 12% of the nation favored legalization at that point. >> wow. >> so it has come a long way. but i think also besides the polling numbers, they are starting to see the science. they are starting to see the data on this particular topic. they are looking, you know the
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same places that we have looked over the last three years. sometimes it's outside this country, but when you look at those -- that data it's pretty compelling. >> it is and certainly before i saw this i had no idea that something like ptsd or alzheimer's could be treated with medical marijuana. i had always thought and met people who used it for, you know really bad sort of stomach problems or feeling nauseous all the time but it extends far beyond that. >> the idea that it somehow has this more broadly anti-in particular inflammatory effect in the body is where scientists focus. alzheimer's, the idea it could potentially prevent the plaques associated with alzheimer's from forming in first place was really fascinating. it's early research but there's an alzheimer's institute in florida focused on this particular issue. you know we also think about it just as something that harms your brain. i think that's been the perception. we now know that the department
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of health and human services has a patent using marijuana as something that protects your brain. not harms it. so you know you're starting to see a shift in how we look at it. and not only is it maybe not harmful the way that we thought it was, but it could be beneficial. alzheimer's as you mentioned, post traumatic stress various other neurodegenerative diseases including ms. this date to, again, exists. people need to dig down and find it. >> you wrote this op-ped on, sanjay, "it's time for a medical marijuana revolution." that's you. you're a doctor, you're a journalist. you've studied this in-depth. i'm wondering is there a significant generational divide here between those that agree with you and those who disagree with you? >> i can only speak from my own experience. it's an interesting question poppy, because clearly it's a white-hot issue among young people i think for sure. that's the younger people are the more core demographic. just from my own experience after doing this spending time
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with my own parents, spending time with their friends, spending time with my kids' friends' parents as well people take you aside and say, like i was considering this for my own mother my own self, somebody in my family what do you think? these are people who would never talk about this topic before. i've had policemen come up to me before. a judge in new york approached me to talk about this. it's amazing. generation generational divide reflects how people are willing to be open about it. look at people's true sentiments, you're going to see it's much more broadly relatable and has an impact on i think just about everybody in some way, poppy. >> yeah and it's a good thing we're talking about it and talking about it a lot. and clearly it's getting some action in washington on a bipartisan bill that has been presented. sanjay gumtpta, thank you so much. >> thanks, poppy. >> "weed 3: the marijuana revolution" premiering sunday
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night 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. go to and read sanjay's op-ped on this. ahead of that we've got this for you. e-cigarettes meet marijuana. up next e-joints a new discreet way some folks are getting high. i'm caridee. i've had moderate to severe plaque psoriasis most my life. but that hasn't stopped me from modeling. my doctor told me about stelara®. it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ... stelara® helps me be in season. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and increase your risk of infections. some serious infections require hospitalization. before starting stelara®... ...your doctor should test for tuberculosis. stelara® may increase your risk of cancer. always tell your doctor if you have any sign of infection, have had cancer, or if you develop any new skin growths. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems- these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. serious allergic reactions can occur. tell your doctor if you or anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. in a medical study most stelara® patients
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why is that? cnn money's jordan explains why the banks do not want those profits. >> reporter: the country's 2,000 legal marijuana businesses spread across 23 states and the nation's capital generates an estimated $3 billion a year. but when it comes to banking, canabusinesses are often left high and dry because banks are beholden to federal law and the feds still consider marijuana like heroin a schedule 1 narcotic. so banks and credit unions have been turning away pot profits. intimidated by the prospect of heavy fines and even prison time. of the nearly 13,000 banks and credit unions in the country, the u.s. treasury says only 185 have opened a i counts for canabusinesses which means most legal marijuana companies are cash-only operations. that's not just a buzz kill it's also a major safety concern as expensive armored vehicles
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have to deliver cash payments to employees, vendors and even the irs. >> our thanks to rachel and jordan for that. also, yesterday on the program, i spoke with a colorado pot dispensary owner about the difficulty of running his business in all cash. >> it really is a big challenge to being in the industry. one of the things that i've done is you know i pay most of my vendors in cash. i pay my net payroll in cash. and i've been buying some real estate and i found some sellers willing to accept cash. but it is an ongoing problem. i haven't pulled a credit card out of my pocket to pay for dinner in the last four years. >> so he found a workaround. people are trying to figure out how do you move forward with big businesses in all cash if the banks don't want the cash? he told me this is his second job. he gave up practicing law to grow and sell marijuana. we're seeing more of that lately. there's a new trend in marijuana called e-joints.
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it's like smoking pot without the smell and some of the paraphernalia you would expect. our christina oleshi took a look at this discreet new technique some folks are using to get high. >> reporter: you probably heard of e-cigarettes. but what about e-joints? >> you have so much more control with our product than you do with a flower-based joint. >> reporter: there's weed oil in this little contraptionvab er vaporizes when you inhale. >> there's an atomizer in the unit 150 puffs in each stick. >> reporter: it's a growing trend in marijuana smoking circles especially in states where the drug is legal like here in washington. the company says the goal is not to attract the biggest pot heads. check out this youtube ad ♪ laugh and smile and say we're lucky to be alive ♪ >> what we try to market to you is that mass consumer who really wants to enjoy cannabis without having a bunch of other
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paraphernalia, smoke, smell. we have everyone from soccer moms to concertgoers. >> reporter: you can barely smell the vapor but they don't actually make the weed oil, ith. >> we decided strategically to not be a marijuana business but sell the device around it. >> reporter: it's working as a business. they're expanding into nevada and oregon other states where recreational or medical marijuana is legal. as the movement grows marijuana oils are expected to be a big part of it so we wanted to see how the oil is made. is it safe and what are the effects? we traveled to raymond, washington an old logging town. now home to the largest marijuana producer in the state. bmf. >> we have 13 grow rooms in different stages. we control the lighting humidity temperature. we're harvesting approximately once a week. about 80% goes into flour and 20% goes into oil products. i think the market is headed
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toward more marijuana oil. >> reporter: and it's made in this room. the plant is ground up. and, yes, they use a blender. then the oil gets extracted out of the plant using co 2 under high pressure. the result is an oil that is 30% to 70% thc. psychoactive chemical that makes you feel high. that level is two to six times higher than you'd find in a traditional joint. >> we're supplied with the cartridges. we load the marijuana oil into those. we fill 1,000 pens a day. basically we are selling it as fast as we are making them. >> reporter: selling them to retail stores like green fury in bellview washington with a variety of e-joints or pens. >> the joint, the pen, has a handy stylus on the end for business executors. they're becoming a much bigger part of our business every day.
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they're more potent than just straight marijuana and doesn't notify people that you're using it. obviously discretion is a great part of why people are using these. >> reporter: and those two exact points potency and discretion worry addiction researchers like meg haney. >> daily cannabis use than produce addiction. people who use very regularly have a very difficult time stopping. lady gaga came out and said she had an addiction to marijuana. my phones started ringing off the hooks because nobody heard of such a thing before. >> reporter: vaporizing high thc levels is unchartered waters. >> unlike anything we studied in the laboratory. repeated use of very potent marijuana, it's an unknown. >> reporter: and it's what many millennials are consuming. >> it's the way of the future. most of the younger people come in here in their 20s and 30s are familiar with these. they know how to use them and they want more. it's more than the cloud. it's multi-layered security and flexibility.
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it is the world's leading marijuana trade show. it's known as the cannabis cup, and it's taking place in colorado right now. recreational marijuana in that state generating an estimated $700 million last year alone, bringing in more than $50 million in tax revenue. this is folks, just the beginning. ana cabrera is in denver literal
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literally in the middle of all of it wearing her very fitting green jacket. how's it going, ana? >> reporter: it's kind of wild out here to be honest poppy. it's a big pot party. you see people around me who are smoking pot, but all the boots here are not allowed to sell or give away the product, itself. so we're hearing from people who are really here to market to the marijuana enthusiasts who are here. so here one of the cannabis candy companies sells stuff like this. again, you won't be able to pick that up here. you can also see booths like this my 420 tours which does exactly what it sounds like. they give people tours of dispensaries from out of town to give them a sense of what the marijuana industry is really like. you also have companies selling t-shirts you have people who are really trying to promote their pot products. these are cannabis cup open vape pens so these are similar to the e-cigarettes but you put thc-infused oils into this kind of a product.
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and as you can see, people are here from all around the country to just explore what the marijuana industry is all about. it is a growing market. and, of course we're seeing more and more states now legalize marijuana not just for medicinal use, but there are growing states who are planning to allow it for recreational use as well and it's a multimillion dollar industry right here in colorado poppy. >> no contact high right, ana? >> reporter: hopefully not, but it's pretty hard to avoid around all of the people who are enjoying themselves out here today. >> i bet. i bet. ana cabrera, thanks so much. we appreciate it. good to see exactly what's going on there at the cannabis cup. coming up tonight on cnn, all three of dr. sanjay gupta's "weed" specials back to back episodes start next with the premiere of "weed 3" at 9:00 eastern follow eded eded by cnn's original series "high profits." i'm poppy harlow. thanks so much for spending part
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-- captions by vitac -- the following is a cnn special report. ♪ people are lighting up all over the country. they call it the green rush. marijuana has moved out of the back alleys and into the open. >> happy cannabis cup, y'all. >> in some states it's legal to grow, to sell, to smoke. and marijuana could be legalized in a city near you. so easy to get, and many think so harmless. but when the smoke clears is marijuana bad for you, or could pot actually be good for you?


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